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3 8                  A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
This amazing fact results from its position; if a vertical line is drawn through it, the land area lying to the east will be found equal to the land area lying to the west of the line. The meridian of the Great Pyramid is thus the natural zero of longitude for the whole globe. Its position on the land surface of our earth is therefore unique. And in perfect keeping with that position, its four slanted sides front the four points of the compass.
This extraordinary geographical position for a man-built monument is either another meaningless coincidence or a purposive achievement, and of a race as astute and intellectual as the early inhabitants of Egypt one is forced to accept the latter opinion. That the largest stone building in the world should be set up on the world's central line, strikes the imagination with compelling force 1 That the most outstanding of all structures erected upon the surface of this globe should have been planted at such a point is, indeed, something to think about 1
The guides and handbooks will glibly tell you that the Great Pyramid was built by a Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh, Khufu, renamed Cheops by the Greeks, who wanted a first-class and truly original tomb fit for a king, and that this is all there really is to it. And for a handy, convenient and conventional theory, this notion that it is nothing more than a grandiose grave is doubtless the best you will find. It has the backing of all the big men in Egyptology, archaeology and ancient history; so bend your head in respect before orthodox authorities and accept their dicta.
There are unorthodox theories, too. The notions which have been built around this ancient building—and they are many—range from the completely improbable to the scientifically plausible, because the Pyramids are large enough and important enough to have become a happy hunting-ground for cranks.
The chief engineer of an Australian railway spent time and trouble in collecting a lot of measurements and figures to prove that the Pyramids were intended to be used in land surveying! I picked up in Paris some heated correspondence between a French professor and two noted Egyptologists, wherein the former sought to show that the real object of the Pyramids was to commemorate symbolically the fact that the River Nile had been artificially created at some remote epoch 1 Some ingenious historians see the Pyramids as gigantic granaries wherein Joseph,